Queens Plate History - William Penn

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Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago - 3 years 6 months ago
#807973
i just found this interesting

he won 8 grade one looks like he raced in 34 grade 1 races in his career.
winner from 1000 meters to 2000 meters
16 wins in total

queens plate form

1967 3/11 to Sea Cottage
1968 4/10 6 year old
1969 1/8 winner at 7 years old
1970 did not run
1971 did not run
1972 3/15 at the age of 10
1973 8/9 and retires at age of 11
Last edit: 3 years 6 months ago by Sylvester.
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  • Pirhobeta
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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#807988
his runs behind In Full Flight, were some of the best ever, considering he was at retirement age then...In the days of the Dupla...now that was a bet that I enjoyed...:)

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  • Garrick
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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#807993
If you also enjoyed William Penn (as much I did) then I thought you might find my unsuccessful entry into to the LQP Writers' Competition a few years back interesting :

My Very First Queen’s Plate

Kenilworth Racecourse is situated close to Youngsfield Military Base. When I was posted there in July 1971 for my national service I had no idea that the proximity of this facility just across the road from the camp would introduce me to horse racing; which would play such an enormous role in my recreational life in the years ahead.

Interest was first tweaked in January 1972 when my attention was drawn to a number of full page adverts placed in the Cape Argus by a bookmaking group called the ‘Big 4’ ; inviting punters to predict the finishers in the forthcoming Metropolitan Stakes. A number of options were offered – comprising effectively what we now know as Exactas, Trifectas & Quartets.

I sent in a number of entries accompanied by a postal order(!) for a total outlay of R29. A pretty substantial punt for a serviceman on R33 pm. I got it half right and about R14 was returned to me after Force Ten won the race for the late Theo De Klerk.

The following week I felt sufficiently intrigued to make my first actual trip to a racecourse. It started well with two successive winners but then went pear shaped. My last rand on that day was unsuccessfully speculated on a filly by the name of Marijuana.

By now I was a self proclaimed ‘serious punter’ and next up was the Queen’s Plate. The 111th renewal to be precise; reminding me today just how quickly time has flown by!

I absorbed every piece of information available in the press as Saturday drew near whilst being blissfully ignorant as to just how uninformed I was regarding the nuances and mechanics of horse racing. There was no Computaform or Sporting Post back then and I had yet to discover Turf Guide.

Eventually Saturday dawned and I drove to Kenilworth in my very elderly, red 1960 VW beetle clutching my well thumbed and annotated racecard. I can still clearly recall the sense of excitement and anticipation that accompanied that trip to the racecourse and the hundreds that followed.

After a short, impatient wait in the entrance queue I paid the R2 admission, affixed my ticket, and was in. I was immediately caught up in a swirling mass of equally hyped up humanity utterly seduced by the sound, colour, smell and spectacle of the sport. The sole topic of conversation was : ‘Who’s going to win the next….?’

I had already learned from my sole racecourse visit that a fair degree of planning was required to ensure that you got to see the runners in the parade ring, secured a decent seat on the grandstand to view the race and, most importantly, navigated the substantial queues of racegoers placing their bets. There was nothing quite as stressful as choosing a queue where the punter in front of you waited until reaching the front of the line before starting the process of deciding which horse to back. Whilst all the while the course commentator was describing how there was only a handful of horses still to load……

Time has obliterated my memory of the early part of the afternoon. But I still recall the rising tension within me as the feature race approached and I prepared to lash out more than I should have on the main event.

The Queen’s Plate of 1972 had attracted an appropriately stellar field but it is worth reflecting on some of the background that surrounded the leading protagonists:

Chichester was attempting to win it for a third time.

The 3 year olds were represented by two fast developing legends – In Full Flight & Sentinel.

These two had fought out an unforgettable dead heat in the Cape Guineas earlier in the season & the racing public was eagerly anticipating their re-match at level weights.

But the drawcard for me was the presence of a thoroughbred who had completely gripped my imagination – William Penn.

I was still at school when William Penn was in his prime so had to rely on what I had gleaned from newspapers and periodicals to cobble together his history. But this I knew :

He was a previous winner of the Queen’s Plate & had broken the 1600m course record in winning it.

He was a previous Metropolitan Handicap winner & had broken the 2000m course record in winning it. His victory in the Met had also allegedly encompassed the biggest betting coup in South African racing history.

His half-brother Hawaii – who went overseas and enjoyed huge success – had never beaten him on South African soil.

He had been retired to stud but had suffered from limited fertility so was brought back into racing.

So here he was at age 10 about to run in the Queen’s Plate again. And I was planning to ‘go big or go home’ on him.

Come race time the parade ring was a scene of tense anticipation. I had taken up a position fully a race earlier so as to guarantee myself a good view of the preliminaries. Very soon there was not even ‘squeeze room’ and I recall random altercations breaking out as early arrivers had their views impeded by latecomers.

One by one they came into the ring. In Full Flight with his very low head carriage which always suggested he was half asleep. Sentinel - a compact bull of a horse. Chichester-quite non-descript to my inexpert eye. And then the ‘old boy’………

Breeding professionals have often told me that there is officially no such thing as a black horse. William Penn was, to my eye, a black horse and the physical incarnation in this world of the fictional Black Beauty. Bearing in mind that I am no expert on conformation he nonetheless fulfilled my idea of everything in a thoroughbred racehorse that would prompt me to unhesitantly empty my bank account to attempt to acquire.

The story of the race was almost uneventful after the build-up.

In Full Flight under Raymond Rhodes skated in and, in doing so, gave notice of his imminent anointing as South Africa’s ruling champion. Twelve months later he would be dead; just days after being ‘rolled’ in the Met at odds on; a sad end which made banner front page headlines in all of the national daily newspapers and stunned the racing community.

His old adversary Sentinel finished a well beaten second; suggesting for the first time that 1600m might be marginally beyond his best distance.

William Penn finished third after overcoming the almost insurmountable 14 draw on the Kenilworth old/winter course as the new course was yet to be built. I had gone big but also ‘each way’ so suffered no damage as my win stake was covered by the place dividend.

Chichester made up the fourth place.

I have witnessed many renewals of the Queen’s Plate since that memorable Saturday in 1972. In retrospect I am mildly sad that I was not yet experienced enough to fully appreciate and savour the quality of horse that competed in the race on that day. Finishing behind the first four were a number of multiple Grade 1 winners that I did not even mention in this piece and which certainly deserved to be.

It has been heartening to note that the Queen’s Plate has enjoyed a significant resurgence in recent years; thanks in no small measure to both the effort and funding put into the event by its current sponsor and the team that steers it. It is justifiably regarded as the most important race over a mile in our racing calendar.

If William Penn could speak and happens to be looking down on the Kenilworth winners’ circle from horse heaven on Queen’s Plate Day each year I would like to believe his comment would be: ‘I would have beaten that!’

So respected was this horse that when he passed a few years later he elicited an editorial in the Cape Argus; an entirely merited gesture to this magnificent hero of the turf.

Acknowledgement & thanks to the Form Organisation for providing me with the official race record
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  • johnnycomelately
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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#807998
Always loved these posts from you Garrick
was about sixteen at the time and still hooked

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  • Mac
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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#808016
Garrick, you're a raconteur, keep your stories rolling in, love them. It's not just about the punt.

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  • naresh
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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#808018
I have mentioned it before on the forum that my late father always talked about William Penn. It was one of his favorite horses of all time.

Thanks Garrick.

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  • Magi
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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#808026
If I am not mistaken, and i may be, William Penn raced until 13 yrs old ... and at that age placed in a Grade 1 .... but that is only my memory ... not sure.

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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago - 3 years 6 months ago
#808040
@Garrick I quote "Bernard Fayd'herbe panel beating the shit out of everything" you really made me laugh when you said that.

You really have some nice stories mate.
Last edit: 3 years 6 months ago by Place_will_pay.

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  • khargisland
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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#808275
Anyone remember Admiral Penn??
Ernie Duffield called him Wn Penn throughout the race, and apologised in the round up, saying Admiral Penn looked so like his sire.

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  • ElvisisKing
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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#808283
khargisland.....don't u have an unraced baby due to come out ?

If so, when might he / she run ?

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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#808364
@Elvis
I had Differentiate, but when the virus arrived, decided to get out.
Very hard for small owners. She will win, probably, next run. Good luck to Paul Matchett. He is a superb horseman.

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Re: Queens Plate History - William Penn

3 years 6 months ago
#808365
Here is a MUST watch from Bonski

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